10 Best Tips For Working At Home: Remote Work Basics

Remote work has enabled us to conduct business efficiently in today’s age of technology. Remote work has been around for many years, and it’s only going to accelerate moving forward. In this post, I’m going to lay out the 10 best tips for working at home to get on the right track for remote work success.


Best tips for working remotely

There are many ways you can adjust to a remote work environment, whether you work for yourself or a company. I will focus my attention on that topic, especially on those who are entirely new to remote work.

  1. Understand Expectations For Remote Work
  2. Overcommunicate: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  3. Dress Professionally (Even If You’re Home By Yourself)
  4. Determine A Schedule That Works Best For You
  5. Plan Out Your Days
  6. Create An Open Workspace At Home
  7. Taking Breaks
  8. Utilize Task Lists
  9. Monitor Your Time Spent On Work
  10. Know When To “Log” Off
Best tips for working at home: This article lays out best practices for succeeding at home.

Understand expectations for remote work

Understanding expectations is something you should do from the very beginning of your remote work experience. Your manager should continue to check in with you regularly over time. Communicate how you’re doing with your work and keep a dialogue going.

Suppose you’re a manager; set expectations for remote workers to develop good habits. Establishing great habits helps make it easier for someone to stay organized. Setting expectations early on helps build trust and reliability between a worker and their manager.

Overcommunicate: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

When working remotely, you’re not used to being around other people in an office. You don’t have the convenience of walking over to ask someone a question or having someone help you instantly.

Not having a physical presence means that communication is vital to succeeding at remote work. So utilize the communication methods you use for work, such as email, instant messaging, and video calls.

10 tips for working at home: Communication is important in remote work. You have to over communicate in this role.

Of the communication tools you have, video calls are probably the most effective when doing remote work. It’s easier for people to communicate and resolve problems through a brief video conversation. Remote work is more common these days, so platforms such as Zoom are increasingly used to conduct video calls and webinars.

It’s good to get in the habit of doing video calls so that you can stay on the right page and avoid miscommunications with coworkers. Like working together in an office, it’s great to use any of these methods when collaborating with others.

Dress professionally (even if you’re home by yourself)

It sounds convenient to work in our PJs or sweatpants when we don’t have to go to an office. Some people will do it, while others won’t.

According to one study done in Sydney, Australia, people wearing their PJs while working from home did not lower their productivity. 

Also, productivity went down for those who had children residing with them. However, the downside of the study was that it was linked to poorer mental health as a result.

But I beg to differ on this point. From my experience, I feel that I’m much more productive wearing business casual clothes at home, just as I would working in an office setting. 

It gets me in the habit of “work” mode and signals that I need to be working on things that I’m paid to do. Also, it’s better to dress professionally when you’re conducting video calls. The conduct should be similar to what you would do with regular “in-person” meetings.

Determine a schedule that works best for you

Unless your job requires you to work a set schedule (i.e., 9-5), work the hours that best fit you. Sure, you may need to work regular hours during the day, but you can choose which times work best for you if possible.

Having flexibility helps make it easier on your part. For example, if you do well during the early morning hours, then make yourself available for meetings during the late morning-early afternoon hours.

Flexibility matters.

As mentioned earlier, you may need to be available for occasional meetings. Setting apart your focus periods and time to participate in discussions can help you be more productive and get more things done.

Plan out your days

Planning ahead of time is vital to working remotely. Whether it’s doing it at the end of the day or at the beginning of the day, you want to set clear intentions on what needs to get done on a given day.

10 tips for working at home: It's essential to plan out your days, especially for remote work.

There are a couple of ways to plan out your days. One that I like to do is write out a priority list. It’s kind of like a to-do list, but you’re writing down three things you want to get done each day.

You can also use time blocking throughout the day. It’s chunking small tasks into specific times each day.

The more you plan your days out, the less likely you are to get distracted.

Create an open workspace at home

The best workspaces are those with few or no distractions. A desktop/laptop, a phone, a pen, and a notebook are all you need. That workspace should be for nothing else but work.

Occasionally, it’s good to change things up throughout the day. In my apartment, I have two places where I like to work. One of my desks is smaller, which I use to do deep work, while the other desk I use later in the day.

The idea of staying stationary all day does not appeal to me. Now and then, it’s nice to see a different view.

10 tips for working at home: Having a spacious home office helps out. It makes your workspace more organized.

Taking breaks

No doubt taking breaks help reboot and refresh our minds. For some people, taking breaks may be hard to do when they’re tied into the work they’re doing.

You may work two-three hours straight without leaving your desk. That’s probably one of the biggest challenges with remote work.

If possible, make sure to set the alarm to take brief breaks. That could be a physical one (or through an app on a smartphone). But whichever one you prefer, make the most of it to refresh yourself.

Like working in an office, you want to be effective and stay refreshed by taking breaks at home. You don’t want to feel tired or sluggish in the middle of the day.

Utilize task lists

When working remotely, it’s easy to work on a project or task where you spend more time on it than you should. Things need to be changed whenever you take two and a half hours to complete a task that ought to take a half-hour.

10 tips for working at home: Task lists help you lay out what needs to get done with work.

When making a task list, ask yourself the following questions:
1.) What do you want to accomplish?
2.) How long should a task take you to complete?

Asking those questions helps ensure you stay on track and that you’re meeting deadlines. There’s nothing wrong with staying ahead and being proactive, especially when you don’t have a boss standing behind you at times.

Monitor your time spent on work

When working remotely, it’s essential to understand how much time you’re spending on your tasks. If you’re a contractor or a freelancer, that comes in handy if you work on a project-fixed rate (compared to a set hourly rate).

You may not be concerned about it now as an employee/contractor. However, from an employer’s perspective, time and money are essential.

It will help you understand your actual value if you know how much time it will take you to work on an assignment. Additionally, you’ll how much money you’re worth. You’ll see if you’re getting paid fairly when you see it.

Keep in mind- you will have good and bad times. There will be never be a perfect day to do remote work. In the meantime, if you’re willing to be flexible, adapt to changing circumstances, you will navigate through the bad days. A positive attitude and willingness to grow professionally are what make for the best days.

Eric T. Seil (Site Owner of notimekillers.com)

Know when to “log off”

People are more connected to each other online when they work remotely, which is one of the challenges of remote work. Therefore, it has become more difficult for some people to log off at the end of the day.

Although you may find yourself working long days, you need to set a time where you say to yourself, “That’s it- I’m finished for the day.” It’s impossible to work 24/7, so you’ll need to set some boundaries and limits when you stop working.

10 tips for working at home: When working remotely, it's important to look at the bigger picture.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “How To Succeed In An Office Job: 25 Tips For Work Success”, to learn how to thrive in an office job. These tips can help you out a lot.

Final Words

Remote work will accelerate in today’s modern workplace. It’s now more possible than ever to do work anywhere around the world. 

But to be successful at it, you have to develop good practices for working at home. The tips laid out earlier are helpful to those who are brand new to remote work.

Also, they can help more seasonal workers change the way they have been working remotely. It can help any remote worker.

Your Turn: What kind of habits do you have for remote work?

I would like to get your thoughts on the topic of remote work. Have you started working at home recently?

If you work remotely, do you follow any of the tips mentioned earlier? Have you been practicing other ones not mentioned in this post?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

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Eric is a content writer and the site owner of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can follow Eric on LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

6 thoughts on “10 Best Tips For Working At Home: Remote Work Basics”

  1. Wow! I appreciate your thoughts on working remotely with a home-based business. As a digital nomad entrepreneur, I have been working from a home-based setting all over the world. 

    The points you make about allocating your time and treating your home office no differently than say a corporate-style office is on point. And when I dedicate a certain amount of time to focus solely on my business while avoiding personal tasks, emails, etc. I agree that I am more productive.

    • Hi Justin,

      Treating your workspace at home should be no different than in a corporate office setting. Sure, there may be some differences or tweaks, but it’s similar in the end.

      For me, it’s best to practice a clean-desk policy while working at home. You should use your workspace wisely, and keep it clean as people may expect if you were sitting in a cubicle/private office. 

      Putting aside personal tasks certainly helps, and we sure can be more productive in the long run. If you do that, you may notice differences over time. I’m confident that you’ll notice some differences.

      Thank you for sharing your input- it’s very much appreciated.

  2. Great article. 

    I am happy working remotely I have work remotely for the past 5 years. Many companies are hesitant but more companies should allow it. The atmosphere is great and the co-workers are great. Sometimes it can be a little distant but you have to work hard to be sure to have a relationship with your co-workers. 

    • Hi Emmanuel,

      Feeling distant in a remote work environment is normal. It’s certainly the case with more people working remotely.

      I understand why some companies are hesitant to switch to remote work, while some are not willing to transition to either fully remote also.

      There are good reasons for it; however, that can very well change as artificial intelligence and technology continue to advance in the years ahead. So we’ll see.

      I’m glad working remotely has worked out for you. It’s not for everyone, but it can be an adjustment from workjng around others in an office.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- much appreciated!

  3. Great tips not only for people that have remote jobs, but a lot of those tips can be applied for entrepreneurs. I’m a entrepreneur myself and I used some of this strategies to accomplish my duties.

    Like for example- What do I want to accomplish? How long should a task take to be completed? Set aside time to take care of myself, utilize task lists, etc.

    Great post thank you for sharing, hope to read more of your blogs.

    • Hi,

      For entrepreneurs such as ourselves, these tips can come in handy for remote work. You’d think people like us would be experts in this area, but not all business owners have them down.

      It’s why it helps to review posts such as this one to remind ourselves from time to time. When we take the time to review and put into practice, we get better at it.

      It looks like you’ve been practicing these tips, and have them down right. Those are some great questions you posed, and they’re very helpful as well.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts- I greatly appreciate them. Our readers will get value from what you do as well.

      Please do come back and visit anytime for more posts. I’m confident you will find helpful information from the website.


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